The confirmed cases of the coronavirus covid-19 in Costa Rica reached 117, according to the report by the Ministry of Health this Saturday, March 21 at noon. An increase of 4 over the previous day, when 113 cases were confirmed.
In a mid-day, Saturday covid-19 briefing, Rodrigo Marín, director of Health Surveillance at the Ministry of Health said: “we cannot let our guard down.”
“This does not mean that the battle is won and that nothing is going to happen in this country, it is a phenomenon that is happening worldwide, there are world powers such as Italy, Spain, the United States and France to name just a few are enrolled in a giant public health problem.
“Costa Rica had a good number today (only four more confirmed cases), but it would be normal for it to increase,” said Marín.
The director emphasized that 135 tests were carried out in the last 24 hours, so the reduction in positives is not due to the fact that evaluations are not being carried out among the suspected patients.
He added that even with these data they expect an increase in the number of patients in the coming days.
Lastly, Marín guaranteed that Costa Rica has enough tests for the covid-19 among the population.
Of the 117 positive patients, 107 are Costa Rican and 10 are foreigners. The count by sex is 48 women (41%) and 69 men (59%) in an age range of 2 to 87.
1,190 people have been ruled (tested negative and 2 patients have recuperated, the first two cases in the country, on March 6, an American couple arriving from New York. The wife became ill, while the husband, though testing positive, never displayed any symptoms.
The cantons on the list are: Alajuela, San José, Escazú, Santa Ana, Curridabat, Grecia, La Unión, Poás, Cartago, Desamparados, Heredia, Moravia, Montes de Oca, Nicoya, Pérez Zeledón, San Pablo, Coronado, San Carlos, Santa Cruz, Tibás, Atenas, Barva, Limón, San Rafael, Santa Barbara y Santo Domingo.
Alajuela leads with the most number of cases (25), followed by San Jose (12), Escazu (11) and Santa Ana (7); the rest of the cantons range from one to five cases each.
Puntarenas continues to be the only province without a confirmed case.
Costa Rica has reported two deaths due to the covid-19.
The Saturday afternoon update was from President Carlos Alvarado’s office, the second virtual conference, as the President explained the effort is to limit the movement of people, such as reporters and mass gatherings. As on Friday, reporters asked questions online.
Absent from the briefing was Health Minister Daniel Salas, who according to Alvarado was in bilateral meetings with authorities in Nicaragua and Panama on issues of security, border controls, health, and immigration.
Costa Rica is stocked
President Alvarado emphasized that the country is well stocked and has “sufficient reserves” of fuel and that the supply is not at risk.
The statement was based on the decision of the MINAE, the Ministry of Environment and Energy, authorizing gasoline stations to close between 10 pm and 6 am daily.
Alvarado said the closing of the “night shift” was at the request of the gasoline retailers based on a marked drop in the consumption of fuels, as the population is one, staying home as being recommended and driving less.
“We want to be emphatic that we are not facing a fuel shortage,” said the President.
Some other measures taken by the Government to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus are the suspension of massive activities, the closing of bars, clubs and casinos, the banning of foreigners from entering the country until Sunday, April 12, the suspension of the school year, both private and public, and on the suspension of national lottery draws, starting on Monday, March 23, among others.
Also, from Wednesday, March 18 at 11:59 pm, all Costa Ricans, legal residents and diplomats who enter the country receive a health order that forces them to remain isolated for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus.
In parallel, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) – Costa Rican Social Security Fund- began a race to increase the installed capacity of the country’s medical centers with the provision of additional beds in tents, mobile hospitals and the conditioning of the National Rehabilitation Center (Cenare), located in La Uruca, San José, to attend, in the coming weeks, only positive patients for covid-19.
The Cenare will have the capacity to hospitalize 88 patients and will have four surgery rooms if necessary, relieving pressure on hospitals. That site will operate with a staff of 300, including doctors, nurses, clerks, and maintenance workers.